In the last years winning in Braunschweig had been as simple and self evident for the Fraport Skyliners as losing has been for the Philadelphia 76ers as of recent that couldn´t buy a win even if home boy Kobe Bryant was loaned out to the 1983 NBA champion. The only good news was that basketball history was on their side as they had won the last seven games in Braunschweig and in the last years had won in so many crazy ways like getting a come from behind win in 2010, Pascal Roller winning the game at the end with a jumper, Dashaun Wood winning the game in the last minute and last season getting a massive 26 point 13 rebound performance from ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson. That seven game winning streak was snapped last season as a certain 18 year old German who moonlighted in the beauty salon from his mother when he had time sparked the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig to the win. Schroeder finished the game with 18 points and literally paralyzed the Fraport Skyliners in the second quarter nailing 13 points as he scored from almost all over the court except from the lap of the Phantom mascot. A year later, Schroeder is struting his stuff in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks while American James Florence has taken over the point guard duties. Fraport Skyliner players that were present on that evening where Schroeder made another step in the direction of the NBA where the German big three with Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein as was captain Marius Nolte and Cincinnati native Quantez Robertson who had a stellar night with ten points, six rebounds, five assist and four steals, but probably remembered the night of Schroeder taking apart Frankfurt more than anything that he did on the night. Frankfurt was motivated to get on a winning streak again while Braunschweig was super motivated for getting revenge on their sloppy loss in Frankfurt shortly before Christmas this season. However never losing in seven years in Braunschweig, Frankfurt returned back and have lost their last two games in Brauschweig with their latest being a 82-81 loss. Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson celebrated many wins in Braunschweig and tried to forget this loss as quickly as possible and reflect on the better times. ”These last two loses have been tough. Those years where we won, we were able to execute well throughout the game. I remember Pascal Roller winning a game on a last shot and a few years ago Jermario Davidson had a huge game as he did so many great things on offense and defense”, stressed Ohio native Quantez Robertson. Skyliner Johannes Voigtmann is 0-2 in Braunschweig as a professional and knows what was missing to get back on a winning streak in Braunschweig and celebrate wins like in the past. “It really is crazy how you lose like this after having won here for so many years. We have to simply be more consistent to get wins anywhere”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Johannes Voigtmann.
Even after the big win for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, American Isaiah Swann was calm and reserved as if winning and being very instrumental was the most normal thing in the world. Seeing himself on the stat sheet with the most points is about as normal this season as watching Danilo Barthel getting at least one dunk per game. Maryland native Swann came into the game having scored in double figures 27 times and 20 points or more 10 times including a 32 point explosion against Bremerhaven and a 31 point onslaught against Alba Berlin. He came into the Frankfurt game focused and finished with 23 points and a team high five assists. He hit big free throws down the stretch and once again took a piece of his so called scorer mentality away as without his five assists, Braunschweig would not have won. His passing definitely gets overlooked. Swann has been growing a fierce beard since the end of February and you have to wonder if that fera the beard look has any influence in his play and how opponents view him on the court. After the win, his eyes lit up when mentioning that crunch time is Isaiah`s world and the fear the beard look “ I had the James Harden on. I know that if I get fouled, I don´t plan to miss any free throws. I practice my free throws so much that I am very confident in the game. Besides hitting the big free throws, I always love to take the big shot and just making the right play. I plan to have the fear the beard until the end of the season and hope for some more wins”, stressed Isaiah Swann. One could imagine where the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig would be without Isaiah Swann and his teammates surely understand that without a Swann, they are only half as scary as their Phantom mascot. ”We are so thankful that we have a player like Isaiah Swann on the team. He takes so much pressure off us and always hits the big shots”, warned Georgia native James Florence.
The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig entered the game in 14th place with a record of 10-18 and were riding a six game losing streak. They were coming off a bitter 86-82 loss last weekend to the expense of medi bayreuth and once again displayed their ugly talent of losing a close game as they have lost 10 games this season by five or less points and despite playing catch up basketball for most of the evening showed calmness and perhaps more experience down the stretch to get back on the winners side. “They are a very physical team and we knew that we had to execute each play with precision. Guys like Robertson and Galloway are so athletic and get in the passing lanes. We knew also that they had played many games in the last week so we got the ball more inside in the second half and things opened up more. We knew they were tired so we jumped on them and attacked them”, stressed ex ratiopharm Ulm guard Isaiah Swann. The Fraport Skyliners came into the game in 11th placed with a record of 11-16 and were riding a three game losing streaks. They had lost bitter close games at home against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and in Wurzburg and once again played good basketball for 30 minutes, but like in Wurzburg couldn´t shut the door on Braunschweig in the fourth quarter. “Braunschweig played out their hearts in the last 10 minutes what we did in the first 30 minutes. We played well for 33 minutes, but simply gave up an 11 point lead. We chocked tonight. We were beat badly on the boards. We had no effort on the boards”, commented Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. “The first half was up and down and I felt that we defended well, but we gave up too many offensive rebounds and they got too many easy baskets. We had them in the second half, but we let them come back just like in Wurzburg”, added Fraport Skyliner Johannes Voigtmann.
Last week, the Fraport Skyliners played a rare make up game on a Wednesday against the Brose Baskets Bamberg as Borussia Dortmund was playing Real Madrid and the turnout in the Fraport arena was minimal and in Braunschweig on a rare Tuesday night game only 2,208 people wanted to watch first class basketball as Borussia Dortmund was playing Real Madrid in the return game. Frankfurt was without American Dane Watts and German Konstantin Klein. The first quarter was tight as no team could run away and the Fraport Skyliners got on the board first as German Danilo Barthel who came in as focused as ever after not so solid games the last weeks scoring over Canadian Aaron Doornekamp. Doornekamp retaliated knocking down a three pointer and Barthel showed that he won´t pass up outside jumpers as he drooped one as well as Frankfurt led 5-3. However Braunschweig now went on the games first run of 9-2 to lead 12-7 as ex Wake Forest center Kyle Visser made a tip in, Doornekamp stroked home another bomb from outside and Immanuel Mcelroy and James Florence connected on free throws. Frankfurt needed some spark of energy now and got it in the form of Jacob Burtschi who put his reluctance of taking the three pointer into the waste basket and like against ratiopharm Ulm a few weeks ago he nailed two consecutive three pointers testing his 47% three point percentage giving Frankfurt the 15-13 advantage. Aziz Ndiaye then hit free throws and Swann closed out the first quarter with a shot in traffic as Frankfurt led 17-15. “This was definitely not a nice first quarter to watch. I thought the Frankfurt defense was ok. Danilo Barthel was playing at a very high level as he seemed to want to show what he can do. Braunschweig had problems finding some kind of rhythm on offense”, stressed ex Oldenburg American Sean Mccaw. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 42% from the field and 50% from outside while The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were shooting 33% from the field and 40% from outside. Braunschweig had the 9-8 rebound edge and both clubs had two turnovers a piece.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners were able to go on a run and get a nice lead only to see it evaporate as the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig crawled back into the game. The Fraport Skyliners got off to a blazing start in the second going on a 6-2 run to build their lead to 23-17. Frankfurt did a superb job getting to the free throw line as German Max Merz connected on free throws, Ndiaye made a pretty hook shot and Barthel connected on a dunk. Barthel found Ndiaye with the nifty shovel pass for the dunk. Robertson and Florence then exchanged three pointers as Frankfurt still led 28-22.Texas native Mcelroy who with 34 years of age still plays like a 28 year old penetrated inside getting by Jarred Dubois as Johannes Voigtmann was a step late for the help. Braunschweig kept their comeback alive as three point shooting expert Robert Kulawick nailed a three pointer as Frankfurt led only 30-27. Dubois then made a nice off balance lay in falling to his right. Braunschweig kept their comeback in full throttle as Visser once again was unstoppable inside with the simple put back and Swann made a reverse lay up. Voigtmann then hit a 20 footer and Swann closed out the first half with free throws, but Frankfurt had the slim 35-33 lead. “Braunschweig did a good job taking the ball more to the basket then just taking wild shots. Braunschweig defended better and got easy buckets. Frankfurt is a young team and they are allowed to make mistakes, because Gordon Herbert will make sure they learn from the mistakes”, stressed ex Science City Jena forward Sean Mccaw. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 48% from the field and 40% from the three point line while The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweeig were shooting 41% from the field and 36% from the three point line. Braunschweig had the 15-14 rebound edge and 11 turnovers and Frankfurt had 10 turnovers.
in the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners kept the lead and led by as much as seven points, but couldn´t extend their lead as they let the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig hang around. Jacob Burtschi started off the third quarter controlling a defensive rebound and going coast to coast for the easy lay in. Then it was Visser again scoring inside as Frankfurt continued not being able to handle the Michigan native. Robertson then riffled a bullet pass by the ears of Swann finding Voigtmann for the quick lay in as Frankfurt led 40-35. Braunschweig then went on a mini 4-0 run as Visser made a easy shot inside and Harding Nana scored a jumper as Braunschweig trailed 40-39. The game continued to go back and forth with Frankfurt getting consecutive baskets while denying Braunschweig points and then this procedure would go in the other direction. Frankfurt was playing consistent offense and defense, but just couldn´t run away with the lead. Burtschi then hit another three pointer and Barthel made a left handed hook shot to lead 45-39. Max Merz then hit a beautiful turn around shot and Barthel made a perfect left handed hook shot as Frankfurt led 49-42. Merz played a very solid game scoring 10 points in 20 minutes and got nothing but praise from his teammates and peers. “Merz is a young guy and did a real good job. He played his role and continues to have great promise”, stressed Jacob BUrschi. “The young German the number 10 looked great. He controlled the Frankfurt game and I am sure he will be a good player in the future”, stressed Braunschweig guard James Florence. Both teams now had their offense flowing as points were on the menu as Visser and Robertson traded buckets as Frankfurt led 51-44. Swann then used the mismatch against Merz scoring over him and Ndiaye made a tip in as Frankfurt led 53-46. Braunschweig then closed out the third quarter in fine fashion going on a 7-2 run to trail Frankfurt 55-53. Visser kept pounding Frankfurt into the ground all night long with his aggressive play getting a tip in, Florence then scored inside and Merz nailed free throws. Florence ended the third quarter with a fascinating buzzer beater coming from his own end with five seconds to play dribbling over the center line and taking a running deep three off the back board. “That was a tough shot. He hit a runner off the back board and that is a part of the game”, stressed ex Bremerhaven forward Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 54% from the field and 33% from the parking lot while Baunschweig were shooting 45% from the field and 36% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 23-19 rebound edge and six turnovers while Braunschweig had seven turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, it looked like the Fraport Skyliners would run away with the game after shocking the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig with a blistering 9-0 run to lead 64-53, but they couldn´t keep the intensity and couldn´t make the big plays down the stretch to win the game. In the 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter, Barthel spun around Nana on the baseline as swiftly as a rabbits flee from walkers in the park behind the Volkswagon arena, Robertson scored inside and Merz hit a clutch three pointer from the corner. However Braunschwieg out did the Frankfurt 9-0 run with their own amazing 10-0 to trail Frankfurt only 64-63. In the impressive 10-0 run, Braunschwieg played a controlled offense as they got needed production with Mcelroy with a tip in, Doornekamp made a fade away jumper and Florence connected on a three pointer. Swann then hit a clutch three pointer. Voigtmann then took a page out of the athletic moves book of Barthel spinning around Nana, but Doornekamp drilled home a three pointer dead locking the game at 66-66. Barthel then scored on a jumper and made the free throw as Frankfurt led 69-66. Now came the turning point of the game as Braunschweig went on a crucial 8-0 run to lead 74-69. Visser made a tip in, Swann then once again took a step back from scoring and found Mcelroy inside for two points. The Braunschweig run continued as Robertson suffered two consecutive turnovers which Florence and Visser took advantage of scoring inside as Braunschwieg led 74-69. Super Tez made amends for his two mistakes by getting Frankfurt back into the game with a pull up jumper and then securing a defensive rebound and tossing a touchdown pass to Barthel for two easy points who had snuck down as Braunschwieg took the shot and missed as Frankfurt trailed 74-73. Now it became a game of free throws and time which benefited Braunschweig as they kept having the slim lead while Frankfurt had to play catch up basketball. Visser then made free throws as Braunschweig led 76-73. Robertson took control now as the go to guy making another pull up jumper from the corner as Frankfurt trailed 76-75. Swann then made free throws as Braunschweig led 78-75. Frankfurt wanted to get quick points and hope on a missed Braunschweig free throw as Galloway scored inside, but Frankfurt kept fouling Swann who has a free throw percentage of 89% and he kept making shots as Braunschwieg led 80-77. With 8 seconds to play, Frankfurt had the chance to put the game in OT with a three pointer but Los Angeles native Dubois threw the ball away into the hands of Doornekamp. “We had the set play for me too slip, but down three, I went out to play a hand off and look for the three, but the pass went the another way. It was a miscommunication”, stressed Johannes Voigtmann. “We wanted to run a time delay to see how they would set up and in the last second I said no, which was the right thing as they turned the ball over”, stressed James Florence. “That wasn´t the fault of Dubois. It was a team turnover”, said Jacob Burtschi. Doornekamp then made two free throws as Frankfurt trailed 82-77. The game then got exciting one more time as Galloway was fouled behind the three point line. He connected on two free throws and intentionally missed the third getting his own rebound an dmaking the put back, but time ran out and Frankfurt lost 82-81. “We have lost many close game this season and many came because we were tired at the end and the opponent made big plays. Tonight for a change the ball bounced our way and we made the big plays”, added James Florence. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were led by Isiah Swann with 23 points. Kyle Visser had 18 points. Aaron Doornekamp contributed 15 points and James Florence 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Danilo Barthel with 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists. “Barthel practiced well this week and was trying to brush aside the less solid games the last weeks. His presence to the basket was amazing. He was physical and he was the force on offense tonight”, warned Johannes Voigtmann. Quantez Robertsona dded 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, Jacob Burtschi contributed 111 points, five rebounds and two assists and Max Merz had 10 points.